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Robust rand

18 July 2004 Angelo Coppola

This for the first time in nearly five years on Friday, and analysts predicted further gains as sentiment towards the unit improves.

Buoyed mainly by offshore demand, the rand - the most traded emerging market currency after the Singapore dollar - firmed 2,0% to R5,95 against the dollar, its strongest level since September 29 1999.

Techical analysis said the currency, which has appreciated by more than 12% against the broader weaker dollar so far this year, was now targeting R5,75 to the dollar.

In the weeks ahead the unit could even rally as far as R5,50 against the dollar, its 1998 peak.

The dollar tumbled to a four-month low against the euro on Friday and also dropped against other major currencies as a string of Us economic reports signalled steady, but slowing growth.

US consumer prices rose 0,3% last month, compared with forecasts for a 0,2% increase, but core inflation, minus volatile food and energy prices, was more muted than expected.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

Healthcare brokers have long complained about inflation-plus medical scheme contribution increases; but pandemic may have changed things. What will pandemic-induced changes in hospital utilisation do to medical scheme contribution increase patterns?

ANSWER

Below inflation increase for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
Long-term trend of below inflation increases
Inflation-linked hikes for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
This is a 2-year hiccup, inflation-plus increase trend remains in place
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